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Lake Effect Furies to Make First Ever Division 1 Playoff Appearance in Omaha

Credit: Chris Kalisiak (CK Photographic Systems)

Credit: Chris Kalisiak (CK Photographic Systems)

With news released today on seeding and location of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) Division 1 and Division 2 playoffs, the Queen City Roller Girls Lake Effect Furies are set to make their first ever Division 1 playoff appearance in Omaha, Nebraska on October 2nd. Following up on their second straight Division 2 playoff appearance last year, the announcement illustrates the steady climb the WFTDA sanctioned team has made since their inaugural season in 2009.

Ranked 33rd, the Furies come in as the 9th seed and are set to face familiar foes Toronto Roller Derby (8th seed) in their first bout. The Furies last played TORD at Quad City Choas in 2013 falling 230-178. They beat TORD in an unsanctioned bout in 2010 and came within 10 points in a sanctioned bout in 2011. Toronto finishes the season ranked just 1 spot ahead of the Furies and only 1.98 in rating separates them. Toronto is making their 3rd straight Division 1 appearance, and although they have dropped a bit since January – (28 t0 32) – while the Furies climbed (36 to 33) – TORD has a serious edge in experience at this level. All signs point to that first bout being extremely close and extremely competitive.

If the Furies win, they win the chance to play Gotham – who are ranked #1 in the world and have been for years. If they lose, they play the loser of Helsinki vs No Coast. Although it would be amazing to see magical upsets and skaters and fans should still have a reason to believe, coming out of the playoff ranked anywhere higher than they go in (9th seed) will be a huge coup for these first timers. 

Buffalonians should be very proud of these skaters as they qualified against 265 WFTDA teams around the world and will represent Buffalo, New York in Division 1 Playoffs alongside teams from London, Helsinki, Glasgow, Melbourne, and two teams from Sweden. That top 40 also includes 5 Canadian teams – Vancouver (Terminal City), Kitchener-Waterloo (Tri City), Montreal, Toronto, and Ottawa (Rideau) and 28 other US teams.

The last scheduled playoff of the season, before Championships, the Furies will now turn their focus back to the track with ample time to increase training, rehab injuries and scout potential opponents (Toronto, Gotham – yes, Gotham OMG, Helsinki, No Coast, .etc). For those who want to help keep their focus on the track, the Furies have a fundraiser coming up on July 25th at Brunners Tavern to raise funds for travel.  Make sure to help them out!

As the news broke today lots of QCRG fans, volunteers and skaters (past and present) took a moment to acknowledge the hard work and determination of the skaters and coaches and the massive effort that has went into running a competitive league that made this all possible. Special shout out (from me) goes to the three original roster skaters still with the team – Tabrina, Tuesday and B’Kini. What an extra special day for them.